Can I still breastfeed my 4 month old if he has the flu?

Monica - posted on 09/21/2009 ( 12 moms have responded )

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My baby has been sick for the past two days. We just found out last night that he has influenza. I am worried that he won't get enough nourishment from me. He also doesn't have much of an appetite. What should I do?

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Nikki - posted on 09/23/2009

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Nurse as much as possible!! Your breast milk is the best antidote to the bug that's making him sick, it contains live antibodies that you're creating as we speak. To help make sure that he's not getting any more fluid in his lungs, try to elevate his head while he nurses and remove him from the breast if he falls asleep.

Minnie - posted on 09/22/2009

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Absolutely and you should. What other source of nutrition could possibly offer more than your own milk? He's a human baby and you make species-specific milk!



Wear him in a sling next to your skin- he'll be comforted, he'll be stabilized regarding body temperature, breathing, heart rate, and his senses will be stimulated to nurse.



I second the suggestion to keep him in bed with you- its safer for him that way.

Carla - posted on 09/22/2009

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Its even more important to BF now. The breastmilk will keep him hydrated, can help bring down fevers and will provide him with the comfort he needs. He will get nourishment, and its only natural that his appetite will decrease, it happens to us all when we are ill. Just keep nursing as often as he will take it. Your milk may even contain important anti bodies against his flu as you have been exposed to it so your body will be preparing itself to fight it and this will help your baby so much. Like someone else already said, make sure you pump to keep the supply up or you wont have enough when he's better again. Hope your baby gets better soon!

Nicole - posted on 09/21/2009

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He needs your milk when he is sick more than ever. The skin to skin contact will help with comfort even if he isn't eating much. Offer the breast as often as possible- even a little bit of milk will help.

Linda - posted on 09/21/2009

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Definitely! It's best for your little one to keep going. You might have to pump if he's not nursing as well due to feeling down - this keeps up your milk supply. You might try providing him more opportunities to nurse so he gets a little bit more often. If his nose is stuffy, just suction before nursing. You'll both be fine. You might even consider taking him to bed so he can nurse through out the night. Just some thoughts. Your milk will be what he needs - the goal is lots of opportunities and snuggling until he's better. :) Good luck LMK how it goes.

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Jan - posted on 09/25/2009

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Persevere, he is getting more nourishment from being breastfed than you realise. Maybe you could try baby vitamins to help the little one. I wish you luck. x

Cecilia - posted on 09/25/2009

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Yep and it may help him get better faster. If he is congested and has trouble nursing you could try suctioning his nose first to make it easier.

Sorry he is sick, that must be very hard with such a little one!

Rikki Lee - posted on 09/25/2009

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You should most definitley still breastfeed. The anitbodies in your milk will help his body fight the infection faster. Most people don't eat a lot when they have the flu so don't worry about it, unless you see a significant loss in weight or he doesn't eat at all. Then you should consult your pediatrician. But BREASTMILK is the BEST thing you can give your child especially when he's sick.

Charlotte - posted on 09/24/2009

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I''m glad to hear he's nursing more frequently now! That is great because not only does it mean he's getting better, but it means he's getting even more of what he needs to get better faster. :D

Monica - posted on 09/24/2009

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Quoting Nikki:

Nurse as much as possible!! Your breast milk is the best antidote to the bug that's making him sick, it contains live antibodies that you're creating as we speak. To help make sure that he's not getting any more fluid in his lungs, try to elevate his head while he nurses and remove him from the breast if he falls asleep.



Nikki,



 



Thank you for the advice.  I never thought to elevate his head while I nurse him.  I will try that.

Monica - posted on 09/23/2009

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I want to thank you all for your helpful, encouraging advice. I did continue to breastfeed him and he is doing a little better now, except for a cough, and now he is feeding more frequently. I am praying that he will get better very soon. I also tried having him sleep with me and it worked! I was a little apprehensive about him rolling off the bed but, he didn't. :-)

Nicole - posted on 09/21/2009

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Continue to nurse. He may not have an appetite but whenever he shows interest, nurse him, even if only for comfort. Offer it to him every so often. He'll get all the nourishment he needs from you to help him better get over the flu. Make sure he's making enough wet diapers because you don't want him to be dehydrated if he's sick. Keep in touch with his pediatrician if you have concerns, especially since he's only 4 months old.

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